The ancient city of Aquincum was situated on the north-eastern borders of the Pannonia province within the Roman Empire. The ruins of the city can be found in today’s Budapest. Many historic artefacts from the city now appear in the Aquincum Museum located on the site.
Originally settled by a Celtic tribe, Aquincum served as a military base (castrum), having been part of the Roman border protection system called “limes”. The city had around 30,000 to 40,000 inhabitants by the end of the 2nd century, and covered a significant part of the area today known as the Óbuda district within Budapest.
The city, whose beginnings date back to 19 AD, had a network of streets with a hard surface, heating equipment supplied with water from the hot springs, and many buildings of religious and communal purpose.
Emperor Commodus (161-192 AD) ordered the construction of defensive and observation towers along the Danube River, guarding the north-eastern borders of the empire against the Germanic and Sarmatian invasions.
However, already in the year 410, the city was given up without a fight to Huns who looted and destroyed it. In 570, the city was conquered by other barbarians – the Avars. Finally, in 896, the Magyars settled here, under the leadership of Árpád.